Zuckerbergs to give 99% of their Facebook shares to charity – Los Angeles Times

As it rose from the fruit orchards over the decades to become the world center of advanced technology, Silicon Valley developed a stingy reputation for charitable giving.

In 1987, an executive at the San Jose Chamber of Commerce was quoted saying: “They’re willing to spend [their money] on Mercedeses and Ferraris, but not on YMCAs and crippled children.” Even Bill Gates admitted that running Microsoft was “all I focused on” in his 20s and 30s, and philanthropy came much later.

Today’s Silicon Valley, led by the 31-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, is doing away with that earn-now-donate-someday attitude.

On Tuesday, Facebook’s chief executive announced via a letter to his newborn daughter Max that he and his wife would donate 99% of their Facebook shares — currently worth $45 billion — during their lifetimes.

Zuckerberg — the world’s 16th wealthiest person and America’s richest entrepreneur under 40 — framed it as a way to help better the world for the newest member of his family and the rest of her young generation. It also underscored a new era of giving in Silicon Valley — and challenged other young billionaires to do the same.


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